Legendary foster mum cared for more than 300 children

Audrey and Keith Cranmer received their MBEs in 2006 for their services to children after fostering more than 300 children over 30 years in the Scarborough region.
Audrey and Keith Cranmer received their MBEs in 2006 for their services to children after fostering more than 300 children over 30 years in the Scarborough region.

A Scarborough-born foster mother who was awarded the MBE with her late husband for caring for more than 300 children, has died at the age of 70.

Audrey Cranmer, of Pickering, along with husband Keith spent more than 30 years fostering children in need of a loving family to help them feel safe, secure and happy.

Their efforts earned the couple MBEs in 2006 for their outstanding services to children after raising their five children Yvonne, Michelle, Lee, Dawn and Aaron.

The family said in a statement: “Having had their own children they wanted to give other children a safe place in times of crisis before they went on to other families.

“Dad had not had a happy childhood and wanted to help, where he could, others that were experiencing difficulties.”

North Yorkshire County Council said the couple had often been called on and welcomed children at all hours of the day and night, from babies to teenagers. Some had needed to stay for just a night, others for as long as nine years.

Audrey married Keith in 1966 and the pair spent the first few years of their marriage travelling due to Keith’s job in the army.

The couple then settled in Cayton in 1975 before moving to Irton in 1983 and they lived there until 2008 following Keith’s passing in 2007.

The family added: “She was a loving mum and grandma whose family was her focus.

“We are extremely proud to see what a positive effect they had on so many children and giving them an opportunity to live with, and be part of, a family. It gave us a different perspective on life and how lucky we were to have each other.”

Audrey had battled for 14 years with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and other health issues in her later years but she remained positive. She passed away peacefully on April 11 and was surrounded by family. She also leaves behind eight grandchildren.

Audrey’s funeral is to be held at St Martin’s Parish Church, Seamer, on Tuesday April 25 at 11am.